Verdict: Silver Phoenix blew me away by making me love something I'd hate. Fury of the Phoenix blew me away because of its originality, its organization, and style. Not only were the details well-parsed and pertinent to the story, they were beautifully written. I normally hate on details pretty heavily, but Cindy did a great job in FURY of making them relevant. The resulting imagery is stunning. The other thing that really stands out about this book is that there is a dual storyline, but the two stories are expertly woven together in the end, making what a reader might mistake as exposition into vital information that is really just part of Ai Ling's path. For the first time in reading a story that had more than one plot line, I was not interested in one more than the other. Both lines were equally intriguing and engaging and I was never disappointed when they switched. Cindy has grown tremendously as a writer since her debut, and I can't tell you how much I recommend her writing. Put aside your preconceptions about Asian Fantasy, and get your hands on a copy of Silver Phoenix right now if you haven't read it. (The paperback comes out tomorrow) If you have read it, click on over to a bookseller and preorder FURY 'cause you're bound to enjoy it. This is a definite don't miss on the YA circuit.
Location: Mostly in Jiang, a kingdom with diplomatic relations to Xia, which is in a fantasy world
Main Character: Ai Ling
Favorite Character: That's hard. I think it was Chen Yong this time around. He really grew a lot as a character, and I was happy to see that maturation.
Would Change: I can't think of anything.
Favorite Line: "Thunder quaked like an angry god, rattling her teeth, and she shot straight up. The ship careened precariously and she flew into Chen Yong." pg. 118, ARC OR "She nodded, wiping her eyes. 'Whom did you see?' But he would not look at her and simply shook his head." pg 137, ARC
Good for Monster? Yes! I'm going to make him read it!
People Who Will Like This: Katniss Everdeen, Velma from Scooby Doo, the bookish librarian who reads Manga on her break.
People Who Won't Like This: your Chinese grandparents, the girl down at lululemon who can't spell her first name correctly, and geocachers.
Author's Website: http://cindypon.com/
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publish Date: March 29, 2011
Twist Your House / Place of Commerce / Move / Nature / You Don't Call Home / Probably Shouldn't / In Pairs
Of course Twist Your House is going to be easier for me than most of you since I just moved into a new house in November, right? But I read FURY for thirty minutes sitting on top of my new dryer. I also read it for 45 minutes during a youth group activity wherein I was playing the roll of Mrs. Pheasant in a giant real-life game of Clue. I think that falls under the Probably Shouldn't category since it was at church and all. So, total time read for challenge so far is 1.25 hours, 0 categories completed. (and yes, there's still time to join up if you want to!)